As American as Football, Apple Pie and Class Actions

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Two cert petitions in a football-related class action are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court: Gilchrist v. National Football League, case no. 16-283 and Armstrong v. National Football League.  Both are scheduled to be considered by the Court at its December 9, 2016 conference.  Continue reading “As American as Football, Apple Pie and Class Actions”

Plus Feature: How Not to Win at the U.S. Supreme Court

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Think ATMs; particularly, those not operated by banks.  Several non-bank ATM operators and their customers filed class action complaints against Visa, MasterCard and various affiliated banks in D.C. federal court alleging that defendants violated antitrust laws by requiring the non-bank ATM operators to adhere to certain “Access Fee Rules” that prevented them from offering discounted access fees to their customers, which, in turn, diminished their profitability.  The district court dismissed the complaints for lack of standing and failure to state a claim, but the court of appeals vacated and remanded, holding that the lower court “erred in concluding that the Plaintiffs had failed to plead adequate facts to establish standing or the existence of a horizontal conspiracy to restrain trade.”  Osborn v. Visa Inc., 797 F. 3d 1057 (D.C. Cir. 2015).
Continue reading “Plus Feature: How Not to Win at the U.S. Supreme Court”

Sixth Circuit Sends Flint Water Class Action to State Court Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception

On November 16, 2016, the Sixth Circuit held that a state law professional negligence class action against civil engineering companies arising out of the Flint, Michigan water crisis must be litigated in Michigan state court.  Because the plaintiffs’ proposed class contained more than two-thirds Michigan citizens, a local defendant, and injuries limited to those arising from Flint’s water system, the case was “truly local in nature” and thus belonged in state court. Continue reading “Sixth Circuit Sends Flint Water Class Action to State Court Under CAFA’s Local Controversy Exception”

Don’t Wish Too Hard: Ohio Federal Court Tosses Class Claims in Consumer Case for Failure to Allege Actual Damages

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Wish.com is a website that sells, you guessed it, goods.  Lots of them.  Clothing, watches, smartphone cases, fishing lures, jewelry, handbags, Pokémon cards, electronics, shoes.  Most are inexpensive and made in China, from where they are shipped directly from merchant to consumer.  Tens of millions of different items from thousands of merchants.  One of its senior executives referred to wish.com as “the leading mobile commerce platform in North America and Europe” whose “mission is to give everyone access to the most affordable, convenient, and effective shopping mall in the world.”  Wish.com take a 15% cut on each sale.  ContextLogic, Inc., a privately-held company in San Francisco, developed wish.com. Continue reading “Don’t Wish Too Hard: Ohio Federal Court Tosses Class Claims in Consumer Case for Failure to Allege Actual Damages”

The Fresh Scent of Clean Laundry

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

Our planet is plagued by many vexing problems.  For some folks, front-loading washing machines was one of them.  They claimed that certain front-loading washers manufactured by Whirlpool were defective.  They contended those machines suffered from what they called the “Biofilm defect,” which caused mold and mildew to grow inside them.  That, in turn, allegedly caused moldy odor to permeate their homes and clothes.  And that, in turn, spawned eight years of litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. Continue reading “The Fresh Scent of Clean Laundry”

Ninth Circuit Puts the Brakes on Chrysler Class Action

On October 24, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s certification of a class against Chrysler Group (“Chrysler”) under the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act.  Because the plaintiff could not establish that damages could be measured on a classwide basis, and because the plaintiff failed to satisfy the typicality and adequacy requirements of Rule 23, the Ninth Circuit reversed certification and remanded for further proceedings.   Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Puts the Brakes on Chrysler Class Action”

Plus Feature: OUCH?

Author: Jeremy Gilman (former Partner at Benesch Law)

When plaintiffs’ counsel settle a massive antitrust class action for $244 million, they should be happy, right?

One would think so, unless their $72.3 million fee request is cut by the court to $48,825,000 in the process, and its order to that effect comes complete with pretty pointed language.  Time to hold the Champagne?

The order at issue was entered October 31, 2016 in Dial Corporation v. News Corporation, Southern District of New York, case no. 13cv6802, Judge William H. Pauley III presiding. Continue reading “Plus Feature: OUCH?”